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Style Sustainability

Jenna Nicholls on Shopping Sustainably

Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.”

Fast fashion…a term you’ve heard a lot recently and one that isn’t going away anytime soon. The British fashion industry has woken up to the damaging impact of mass consumption – more so recently after the Misguided £1 bikini hit headlines and the shift to shopping sustainably.

Clothing dye and materials discarded by the waterway

Beyond the environmental impact that’s caused by discarded or unwanted articles of clothing, the process of producing enough clothing to keep up with demand is equally damaging. Clothing brands are promoting over-consumption and increasing their carbon footprint without implementing the proper processes to reduce their environmental impact. In a generation where we prefer online shopping to the in-store experience, brands are feeling the pressure to drop 100’s of new-in pieces every week to meet consumer demands. I’m certainly guilty of shopping because of the variety of clothing/very cheap prices and I’ll admit, sometimes I’ve worn these items once or even not at all. 

RIXO

Something that is often asked is why some brands’ pricing is increasing while so many others are decreasing to stay competitive. A lot of this is down to the process in which items are made. Brands that listen to consumers on sustainability and wage equality have to increase costs to cover this. Take RIXO for example; a British brand I love because of its amazing fabrics and prints. These are sourced by hand in the countries they originate and where fair prices are paid directly to the seller. The garments then go through the manufacturing stage where people are paid a competitive and fair wage. Many other brands are looking to other sustainable initiatives such as packaging; Kitri source compostable bags – excellent! 

It’s all great stuff. But is it enough?

As a consumer there are lots of things that we can do to help promote sustainability in the fashion industry, while supporting independent and emerging brands.

When you’re shopping do you think about how green the brand is? How your purchase might affect global warming?

The tips below have been accumulated from research into this topic and are things I now adopt:

  1. Quality is really important when purchasing a new item. Of the pieces already in your wardrobe, ask yourself – how many times have I worn this item before it’s shrunk, stretched, or fallen apart? Sadly this happens all too often because good quality isn’t found in cut-price products. Each purchase should be an investment so that over a long period of time, the cost per wear is fantastic and not a flop.
  2. As I get older I am learning what I will and won’t wear time and time again. However, the pressures of social media dictate that we ‘need’ new outfits. My advice is to invest in a staple wardrobe; good pieces you can bring out every year and team up with some on-trend pieces so that you are not overhauling your wardrobe each season. It’s costly and wasteful and just not necessary.
  3. Learning how to up-cycle clothes allows you to showcase your style and keep up with the latest trends without hurting the planet. YouTube is full of amazing ‘how-to’ videos, bringing out your old, hardly worn pieces and giving them a serious makeover. As well as being good for the environment, this is also lighter on your purse. Do you have a frayed pair of jeans? Cut them into shorts… it’s that simple!
  4. I absolutely LOVE the idea of swapping clothes or selling/buying second hand. It’s a really good way to be sustainable and is an easy way to give your wardrobe a refresh! 
The denim patchwork RENTED Louis Vuitton in SATC The Movie

It was first introduced to us (well me anyway) on SATC and now clothing rental is a revolution taking over the fashion industry. As The London Chatter said recently: “It’s never been more fashionable to give a damn! They say the most Sustainable Fashion you can wear is what’s already in your wardrobe… and I think the future of fashion is wearing what’s in each other’s.”

The London Chatter wearing RENTED Vilshenko from MWHQ

I am particularly excited to be working with MY WARDROBE HQ – a social shopping platform where you can buy, sell and rent designer items – and share the experience of renting with you. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear gorgeous pieces by amazing designers, calling an end to single use purchases. 

“The environmental impacts of fashion should not stop us from the liberation that fashion has given to women – it should only make us change how we consume it. There is no need to buy a dress, when we can rent one.” – Emily Brougton, Saving the Grace 

Wearing Amanda Wakeley available to rent on MY WARDROBE HQ

MY WARDROBE HQ is super easy to use and hosts a mega catalogue of brands and members’ wardrobes you can rent from such as Poppy and Chloe Delevingne, Caroline Flemming and Olivia Buckingham. All you have to do to start is register your interest through their homepage and follow these next steps:

  1. Log in with your invitation code, register your details and then start browsing designer items available from members’ wardrobes and brand profiles
  2. Determine the perfect rental period and price to suit you both. You can rent from 1 day to 1 year – a unique rental experience available only on MWHQ

Honestly, I can’t think of anything better. I already share a lot of my items with friends and vice versa, but after being lucky enough to see the many, many rails of goodies that MWHQ has to offer, I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of being able to rent the perfect piece for future occasions. 

@jennanicholls

Categories
Fashion MWHQ Saving the Grace Style Sustainability

Saving the Grace: My Sustainable Wardrobe

It was only in June 2018 that I was a self-confessed fast fashion addict; buying clothes with each new season and always knowing about the latest Zara drop. Yet one month later, I radically transformed my shopping habits and instead turned to a more sustainable wardrobe.

In July 2018 I quit fast fashion for good. Quit for the sake of the planet and the world’s waters. Yes, I went cold turkey. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the initial transition to slow and conscious consumption was hard. But I saw it as an opportunity to explore new sustainable brands, make second hand clothes my go-to, and started clothes sales pop-up with friends (a great way to top up your own wardrobe)

There’s a new addition to my sustainable wardrobe – clothing rental – and it’s here to stay as a regular for any event.

Despite being a sustainable living advocate, I like most other young women, want something ‘new’ to wear to a party. The social pressure and self-expectation to wear something ‘unphotographed’ for each event is solved sustainably by renting a dress instead of going out and buying one. As Livia Firth, founder of Eco-age would say, unless it will get 30 wears, don’t buy it! 

I recently tried the My Wardrobe HQ ‘My Dressing Room’service to rent a dress for a Sheerluxe show appearance. I was blown away by the quality of service and the selection of dresses available to rent.

with Lily from MWHQ

As someone who hates online shopping (in my opinion it removes the experience of feeling the clothes and trying them on), the Dressing Room service has all of this… and the style advice. It’s as if you’re shopping with a friend in the comfort of your own home. I was sold! You can see my excitement here.

Wearing Malene Oddershede Bach white dress from Chloe Delevingne’s wardrobe

Written by Emily Broughton, Founder of Saving the Grace – a sustainable living platform focusing on 5 areas of change: lifestyle, food, fashion, wellness and action in the world, to save our world’s waters through empowerment and education. 

Categories
Fashion In My Wardrobe MWHQ MyStory

In My Wardrobe….with Madeleine Macey

With a career spanning fashion brands Temperley London and Manolo Blahnik, it’s little surprise that Liberty London‘s Chief Marketing Officer Madeleine Macey has one of the most extensive and desirable wardrobes in London. Filled with floor-sweeping gowns, sample sale and vintage shop finds from Burberry, Vilshenko, Stella Jean, and plenty of Temperley London, each piece comes with its own fantastical story that’s as exciting and effervescent as its wardrobe owner.

Having cut her teeth as a showroom model for Roland Mouret, it seemed only natural for Madeleine to wear some of the pieces for a photoshoot in her balmy Bali-esque back garden – all of which can now be rented and bought exclusively on MY WARDROBE HQ.

We sat down with Madeleine to chat Elton John and Naomi, modelling for Glyndebourne and the female artists we should be following now…

MyStory…black Roland Mouret dress. This dress was a gift from Roland Mouret to me from one of his earliest collections. I wore it to one of the most amazing events of my life held at Hampton Court Palace, where Elton John played live to an intimate crowd of extraordinary people raising money for an important Russian children’s charity. Also, a particularly memorable moment was when Naomi Campbell literally used me as a crutch to walk her across the palace’s cobblestones in her ridiculous shoes. I can’t say it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship… 

Roland Mouret dress available to rent on MY WARDROBE HQ

Your earliest fashion memory…My mother used to work as a guide at Bath’s Fashion & Textile museum so I’ve been surrounded by many references from a very early age.  But the first penetrating fashion moment that really shaped my love of fashion was at 16 when I saw a video of the iconic white jersey cutout gown by Tom Ford for Gucci from his 1996 white gown era strutting down the runway…. I’ve been chasing that look and feel ever since. 

GUCCI by Tom Ford AW’96

What’s in your little black book? Corsica is a place I visit every year. I try to explore a new region every time – it’s so untouched and beautiful and the Corsican’s are such a proud and brilliant people. Please don’t go there, I want it to remain empty!

Favourite items you’ve borrowed… My family loves going to Glyndebourne. As a child I’d watch my mother get ready for the great summer moment and these dresses were highly coveted. It was a lovely moment when a couple of years ago, they chose me to be their poster girl wearing one of my beautiful Temperley dresses with an Osman jacket – it was like I’d completed a piece of personal history!

Your most visited tabs on your laptop..I almost exclusively operate by iPhone … I wonder if we’ll have laptops in the next few years??

Three people we should be following Instagram… My best friend @Andrewarginarmstrong. He is hilarious and can wear a hat and a statement earring better than anyone known. His feed makes me happy. @benpenreath for ultimate house inspiration and how I plan to live when I’m a grown up. @thegreatwomanartists. A powerful curation of all the extraordinary female artists you are yet to hear about and need to. 

Painting by Mamma Andersson

Where you go or what you do when you want to feel inspired? Tour a National Trust property. 

A sustainable switch you’ve adopted that you try and live by every day… My fashion shopping habits have massively changed. I am more likely to be trawling the charity shops than designer floors. Once you get the hang of the fruitful areas of London and the well edited stores, you will be amazed what you can find. I discovered this Armani 1990s show stopper which can now be rented on MY WARDROBE HQ

Armani dress available to rent on MY WARDROBE HQ

Rent Madeleine’s wardrobe including these dresses by registering on MY WARDROBE HQ or contacting info@mywardrobehq.com

Feather print gown, black lace gown and white lace gown all Temperley London, oyster lace dress Luisa Beccaria, yellow dress Nehera, maroon gown Roland Mouret.

Photographer Chris Pugh; Stylist Alessia Farnesi

Categories
Fashion Lifestyle MWHQ

MY WARDROBE HQ at The Serpentine Summer Party 2019

Summer doesn’t officially begin until the art, fashion and music worlds collide to celebrate the opening of the Serpentine Pavillion at The Serpentine Summer Party, hosted by Chanel. Imagined by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, this year’s design comprised a free flowing and organic slate canopy roof that appeared as though it had grown from the ground.

When it comes to event dressing, MY WARDROBE HQ champions sustainable fashion and is leading the way by offering a new way to dress. With this in mind, we invited some of our favourite personalities from the fashion world to join us at the Serpentine to kick off the season in rented dresses, all chosen – and available to rent – from the MWHQ platform.

Candice Lake in rented LoveShackFancy
Jade Parfitt in rented Vilshenko
Jasmine Hemsley in rented Saloni

Visit www.mywardrobehq.com to register to join our platform OR drop us a line at info@mywardrobehq.com if you have a big bash coming up and fancy popping your fashion rental cherry 🍒

Categories
Fashion Lifestyle Sustainability

5 SUSTAINABLE LAUNDRY HACKS

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care

The only Green Washing we’re interested in is clothes care with ZERO impact on the planet. On average, a household gets through almost 400 loads of laundry a year, consuming 13,500 gallons of water. Not only is this a huge waste, but that waste is also contaminated with microfibres (particles under 5mm) from manmade fabrics. A recent study found 6kg of clothes resulted in anything between 137,951 fibres (for poly-cotton clothes) to 728,789 fibres (for acrylic clothes). You might not think much of it, but what’s worse is these microfibres have started to impact our food chain, with scientists discovering these teeny tiny strands in fish larvae. Yuck. Add this to the energy use and chemical pollutants used, the damage we’re doing to the planet is relentless. So what can we do about it? With the advent of alternative cleaning solutions – anyone else have bicarb and apple vinegar on their repeat shopping list? – we’ve rounded up 5 sustainable laundry hacks you can adopt today. 

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care
Hang out

1. Air them outside.

It might sound obvious but hang your clothes in the fresh air. This will help remove smoke, fumes or smells that may be trapped in your clothes. Ideal airing-out placement is outside if you can swing it, but a breezy sunlit room works as well. Bonus points for the nearby occurrence of leafy green plants, which can help absorb chemicals left over from the garment dying process.  

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care
Mix it up

2. Mix it up. 

Pick up a bottle of inexpensive, high-proof vodka (any kind will work, we wouldn’t want the good stuff to go to waste ;). Mix with water in a spray bottle until the vodka ratio is about 60-70%. Spray it liberally on the area in question. Vodka dries odorless, kills bacteria, and will successfully remove smells. Leftovers can be added to raspberries and sugar – invite some friends over and suddenly laundry day doesn’t seem so bad!

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care
Chill out

 3. Put them in the freezer. 

For denim, many in-fabric smells are created by bacteria, which can be killed by freezing temperatures. If you’re okay with letting your jeans hang out in the freezer for a couple of hours – a large canvas bag will protect them from the icy depths – it can be a great alternative to washing. And since the freezer’s already running, you’ll be conserving energy.

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care
Lavender spritz

4. Essential oils.

Even if re-worn clothes aren’t outwardly dirty or smelly, they can lose that fresh scent, the desire for which often drives us to wash unnecessarily. To freshen up yesterday’s outfit, mix a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz on target areas. Lavender, lemon, clary sage, or grapefruit are all lovely options. 

laundry hacks
sustainable fashion
eco fashion
clothes care
When life gives you lemons…

5. Lemon power. 

Replace harsh dry-cleaning chemicals with something that comes straight from the earth. Simply mix lemon juice and water, scrub it onto the offending spot and hang dry.  Any leftovers makes the perfect lemon dressing, just add garlic, mustard, honey, pepper, salt, cider vinegar and olive oil. Things that you could never do with your Fairy Non-Bio!